EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – C.J. Spiller spent last Sunday like a lot of Americans would spend a late-September Sunday. He went to church, then he watched NFL football on his couch.
One week and multiple cross-country flights later, Spiller was not just back in uniform, the running back was also making big contributions to a 27-17 Seahawks victory over the New York Jets.
Spiller, who was released by New Orleans in the second week of the season, flew from his home in South Carolina to New York on Monday to visit with the Jets, then on Tuesday night he flew to Seattle, where he ended up signing on Wednesday. After just two days of practice—not to mention another flight to New York—Spiller was on the field with his new team, and ended up scoring Seattle's first touchdown of the game, an 8-yard pass from Russell Wilson.
"It's been a crazy week for me. I was in New York Monday and Tuesday, and flew to Seattle Tuesday night," Spiller said. "(The touchdown) was the cherry on top. It's been a crazy week, flying from different time zones, trying to learn the plays going in for this game. I couldn't ask for anything better. And we came away with a win, that's the most important thing to me."
When Spiller met with the media Thursday, he still wasn't even sure if he would play against the Jets. After all, he had only a few days to learn the playbook and only two practices to prepare, but not only was Spiller on the field, he played a significant role in the offense as Seattle's third-down back, and also served as the kick returner with Tyler Lockett limited by a knee injury.
"I was prepared. I was nervous, I was anxious," Spiller said. "These guys did a great job of welcoming me with open arms and showing me nothing but love and making sure I was ready.
"It was tough, but I've got to give credit to my coaches and my teammates for making sure I knew what I was doing… It was a lot of late nights studying to make sure I knew what I was doing, Coach (Sherman Smith) did a great job making sure I was prepared, then it was up to me to just go out there and play."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he was "extremely impressed" both with what they saw from Spiller in practice this week, and in the way the running back was able to quickly get up to speed.
"The fact that he can play in just two days—he showed up Thursday—was a great statement. We'll just keep moving. It's great to have him and he's a real dimension. He's a very, very fast, very difficult guy to tackle, to stay with. He runs great routes and he's got great hands, too. The fact that he's smart and all that, that's the kind of guy we like to add this time of year. We're very fortunate to get him."
Spiller said earlier in the week that he was patient picking a team as a free agent because he wanted to make sure he found the right fit. Only one game into his Seahawks career, Spiller was feeling pretty good about his decision.
"These guys, they bring the fun back into the game, and that's what you want," Spiller said. "This is my seventh year in the NFL, and this is a place where you can see that they have fun doing what they're doing, and that makes doing your job a whole lot easier. These guys play loose, they get the job done, but at the same time, they work hard. Then on Sunday you go out and play loose, have fun and walk away with a win. What more could you ask for?"
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Look through some action photos from Week 4 vs the New York Jets at MetLife Field.